This article was written by Nabil Ould-Brahim.
It was less than 48 hours before the closing on our new house and we hadn’t heard anything from our lawyer.
Cue the automatic panic.
This lawyer is incredibly good at what he does. He was able to not only perform the tasks necessary to close the deal in a short seven days, but he was also able to provide us with answers to questions that none of the real-estate agents were able to find. You could tell that he was talented when he played it off like this was just part of the public domain.
We absolutely love working with people who are stars in their line of business.
This was one of those times where you really get an excellent outside perspective of how processes that you deal with every day in your business can leave your customers feeling scared or uncertain.
Michelle and I were quite worried that our house might not close on time. It was Thursday, the day before closing, and we were meeting with the lawyer that morning to sign all the documents and bring him a bank draft for the purchase.
The only catch is that neither one of us knew the final amount to put on the draft.
At this point, you’re probably thinking well if he’s that good at what he does then why didn’t he figure it out? This isn’t our problem.
…. and you’re right. So we called him late the night prior to ask.
Much to our pleasure, he answered the phone and our questions.
It turned out that the seller’s lawyers were not aware that the sale was happening until our lawyer sent them a message five days prior to the closing. Their legal team was frantically trying to validate the sale, contacting the city/township, contacting the utilities just to calculate the final amount owing to the seller.
This is where the “Aha” moment struck me.
It’s the same steps over and over again. There were two voices in my head…. Michelle’s voice saying “That which is repeatable is automatable” and Lisa Larter’s voice saying “You need to work on your expectation management”.
When we found out that our lawyer was waiting on the other legal team, we were not only reassured in the house closing but in the decision to hire him for this very purpose. All our worries and fleeting thoughts could have all been avoided if we were notified of this pre-emptively. That’s the expectation management.
How easy would it be to make that automatic?
Every business has a customer journey: the path that every one of your customers goes through when doing business with you. As service providers it is imperative that you manage expectations and take your communications to the offensive. Don’t wait for your customer to panic when you can keep them in the loop. Leverage automation so that emails keeping your customer informed of every step can be sent without your intervention.
How can you leverage automation to keep your customers in the loop?
- Make a list of all the worried emails you have received.
- Group them together, then count up how many of each you have
- Put them in order from the highest amount to the lowest
- Now you know which step you should automate first to alleviate as much automatic panic as you can